Thank You Sandie (featuring Whole Wheat Oat Bread)


A couple months ago, a new client and I were reviewing the details for his meal.  He had hired me to prepare and serve a romantic multi-coursed meal for him and his wife on their first anniversary.  He entered the kitchen and started to ask a question.  “I was wondering if you… um… would…” and he trailed off unable to finish his request.  I was, of course, terrified.

Actually, what he wanted was for me to step out of the apartment while they ate each course.  Their dining room table was very close to the open kitchen and he and his wife would have no privacy to enjoy their romantic night if I was there.  He said he was nervous to ask because he didn’t want me to feel like a servant.  “I basically am a servant though.” I replied. “And that’s ok.  I like what I do and it is my goal to provide you with the highest caliber of service I can.”  The meal went off perfectly – with me stepping into their building’s lounge for them to peacefully and privately enjoy each course.

It was nice of him to feel conflicted though.

My job is so strange.  As a personal chef I am a space invader- like it or not.  People invite me, sometimes with only a recommendation from a friend or a glance at my website into their homes to cook for them. That means I am a foreigner touching their things, creating new smells and bringing new energy.  It takes a certain leap of faith on their part.  I know that relinquishing control over your space or your evening is a challenging task for most people.  I get it.  It would be a struggle for me if the shoe was on the other foot.  I am always marveling at how differently people act after I have shopped, cooked, served, and cleaned for them compared to when I first walk through their door.  Their bellies are full; their kitchen is spotless; their friends are impressed.  I can safely say that 99% of the people I serve are gracious and grateful.  They make this job feel very rewarding and my part in it victorious. And the one percenters who are neither courteous nor appreciative?  They can go f… oh never mind.  They’re not worth my time and I know they’ll never read this blog.

Turkey Sandie
Turkey Sandie

This Thanksgiving I cooked for the third consecutive year for the same family.  It’s such a gift to me to have repeat customers for major holidays (especially food immersed ones like turkey day).  I can experience all the warmth and cheer of the holiday, while cooking some of my favorite items, without the inevitable tension and drama of my own family.  Truly a win/ win.
It did not occur to me until Black Friday that I should have baked them some homemade bread for turkey sandwiches. They let me know their leftovers had been happily demolished by the following day, but maybe a few of you out there still have some turkey scraps in your fridge.  If so, give this bread a try.  It’s very easy and so, so, so delicious for sandies.

Whole Wheat Oat Bread


    1 3/4 cups warm water (105°F to 110°F)
    1 tablespoon dry yeast
    3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
    1/3 cup honey
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    4 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
    1 cup unbleached white flour
    1 large egg, beaten
    Additional quick-cooking oats
    1.) Stir 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to dissolve yeast. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup oats, honey, oil, and salt. Stir in enough flour to form soft dough and knead for 5-7 minutes. Coat another large bowl with oil. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
    2.) Oil two loaf pans. Punch down dough; shape into two loaves. Place loaves in pan. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
    3.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush tops of loaves with egg; sprinkle with additional oats. Bake until brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

2 thoughts on “Thank You Sandie (featuring Whole Wheat Oat Bread)”

  • It takes an incredibly considerate personal chef to think of making bread for a client to have with leftovers. Your writing is both so clear and from the heart that it brings me right into the situation that you’re writing about. I will definitely try that bread, I’ve been hooked on the 24 hours rise no-knead bread for years because I love the open texture inside but this sounds too good to pass up. Congratulations on another wonderful posting.

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